Knitters do not all knit in the same way, whether you recognize it or not. I’m not referring to the way you hold your needles. Consider which hand you knit with, the tension you use, and where your yarn comes from when you’re knitting. Do your knitting pals all do it the same way? Almost certainly not!

Your knitting technique is determined by various factors, including how you wrap your yarn around the needle and which hand the yarn is in. Other Craftsy articles cover all of the different knitting styles and procedures, but for now, let’s just focus on English vs. Continental knitting styles.

Some knitters are adamant about one style over another, but there’s no need to stick with one for the remainder of your knitting career. Learning to employ all of these approaches interchangeably, in fact, can be highly advantageous to you!

Why should you be concerned with your knitting style?

The fundamental difference between English and Continental knitting is the way the yarn is wrapped around the right needle before being pulled through to knit a stitch. The activity in English-style knitting is tossing the yarn, whereas the action in Continental-style knitting is picking the yarn.

Although the differences may not appear to be significant at first, there are several reasons why you should become acquainted with both styles:

Getting rid of the pain

Why would you care about the differences between English and Continental knitting? First and foremost, switching up your knitting style can help ease wrist pain. Have you ever knitted for lengthy periods only to have pain in your fingers and wrists? 

Switching up your knitting style halfway through a long knitting session will help alleviate the discomfort. The English form, sometimes known as tossing, involves a different hand-and-wrist action than the Continental style, selecting the yarn. 

Long durations of repetition of either of these will result in pain, so swap your style and see if you notice a difference.

Change the tension to get a feel for it.

I generally knit in the Continental manner, but I wanted to explore how it felt to knit in English. I discovered a few things, but the most evident is that when knitting English way, my tension is a little different — and I’m thinking that this could come in handy next time I’m having trouble getting gauge.

Have I yet persuaded you to switch up your knitting style? Here’s a quick rundown of each knitting method to assist you to figure out when to use it:

Knitting in the English tradition

  • In his right hand, he holds yarn.
  • Wrapping chunky-weight yarns is easier since it throws the yarn.

Knitting in the continental style

  • In his left hand, he holds yarn.
  • When wrapping, she chooses the yarn.
  • Knitting the knit stitch is faster while knitting the purl stitch takes a little longer.
  • This pattern makes it easy to switch between knits and purls; it’s ideal for seed stitch and ribbing that alternates between the two.
  • Crocheters will find it easier to learn.

If you’re interested in learning more about Continental knitting, Lorilee Beltman’s class Knit Faster With Continental Knitting is a great place to start. Lorilee explains the picking approach and how it can make knitting more accessible, faster, and less painful in general – ideal if you’re a regular knitter with arm or wrist trouble.

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